Numerous types of photographs appeared and then went out of favor throughout th 1800s.
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This is a good question but photographic evidence suggests that in many cases even humbler working ancestors followed the latest styles.
You can go through the list of females in your neighbourhood to browse through their pictures.
Gone were the puffier sleeves of the 1830s, and sloping shoulders emerged as well as darker tones creating a more solemn look. What to look for: Hoop skirts on women from all walks of life including maids, the middle class and shop girls. Evening dresses with three-quarter length sleeves and low, square necklines.
Lower waists with elongated, tight bodices and flat-front skirts.Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall.Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably.Fashion in photographs It was understood that clients visiting the photographer's studio (or, less commonly, those inviting a photographer to their home) would be dressed in their best quality, most fashionable clothing.Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, kept for church on Sundays and special occasions.But just as you can date Victorian family photographs by photo type and women’s hairstyles, you can also identify family members and date your old photos using clues found in women’s clothing of the Victorian era.